Perspective

Our view from earth within our unique circumstances is only a piece of the big picture, but for the most part it’s all we see during our life. I’m especially struck today by the ways God uses circumstances in one person’s life to affect and impact others at the same time and in the future. I’m reading through Exodus which chronicles the Israelites’ enslavement, the plagues God imposed on Egypt and Moses’ leadership through it all. This drew me back to Genesis in two ways, first back where God told Abraham this would happen:

“Then the Lord said to Abram, “Know this for certain: Your offspring will be foreigners in a land that does not belong to them; they will be enslaved and oppressed 400 years. However, I will judge the nation they serve and afterward they will go out with many possessions.”

Genesis 15:13-14

This shows God’s omniscience, knowing all of the past, present & future. It also indicates that God allows hard circumstances into the lives of His children, sometimes for others even in future generations. I then began thinking about Joseph’s life (Genesis 37-50), he was hated by his own brothers, sold off into slavery, taken to Egypt, found favor with an officer of Pharaoh, accused of a crime he didn’t commit, put into jail for many years, then put in charge of Egypt’s kingdom & food reserves during a time of abundance to save people during 7 years of famine, which ultimately saved his own brothers & father when they were starving. Joseph gives this insight to his family & us:

“…don’t be worried or angry with yourselves for selling me here, because God sent me ahead of you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there will be five more… God sent me ahead of you to establish you as a remnant within the land and to keep you alive by a great deliverance. Therefore it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household, and ruler over all the land of Egypt…I will sustain you.”

Genesis 45:5-8, 11

This all goes together explaining more of who God is, even His ways that I don’t understand, and that He is with us both in loss, pain, suffering and in abundance. When Moses asked God who he was in Exodus 3:13 in the next verse, “God replied to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” Interestingly, in Hebrew God’s “I AM” is the same verb used three verses before this when God said, “I will certainly be with you.” The same God who sends you, or allows circumstances into your life, also promises to go with you and be with you in the midst.

God is so multifaceted and is working on the present and future of His plans simultaneously and still cares deeply about the individual circumstances in all of our lives. I see this over and over again through His word and it amazes me every time I read it! Although we see life through the perspective of where we are on earth, God sees all people throughout time with an eternal perspective & plan, even this imperfect world looks much different from His perfect view.

Depths of God’s Word

Reading through the Bible fills me with a greater picture of who God is. As I read & listen, through an app called YouVersion, my prayer is that God will be present, teach me, give me a love for His word, make His voice familiar to me, reveal His character to me, give me a heart that breaks for what breaks His, fill me with His love for people that overflows to those around me, draws me nearer to Him, encourages me through His great love, refines me into who He’s created and called me to be and helps me remain in Him as I move through my day, no matter what comes my way.

As I journeyed through Genesis, here are some of the overarching characteristics of God that jumped off the pages of my Bible (the references I’ve included aren’t exclusive, just some examples of why I’ve noticed those characteristics):

  • God exists & Creator of all good- light, night & day, land, sea, animals, humans, work & rest (Ch. 1)
  • God exists in three divine parts-God/Father (1:1), Spirit of God (1:26, 11:7), Jesus/Son (John 1:1-5, 14, 18)
  • Grower- planted a garden in Eden (2:8)
  • Present in creation & with people- God saw (1:4) walked in the garden (3:8)
  • Sin has consequences, but God is still present, loving & involved with His children; made clothing for Adam & Eve (3:21)
  • God grieves man’s corruption & regretted making man (6:1-8)
  • God remembers Noah, spoke to Noah & promises to never again destroy everything on earth & gives us the reminder with a rainbow (Ch. 8)
  • He is the God who hears & sees people in their suffering & pain (Ch. 16, 30:17)
  • Nothing is impossible for God (18:14)
  • God answers prayers (Ch. 24)
  • God gives children/opens wombs (Ch. 30)
  • God provides for human needs
  • God plans, gives insight & wisdom to people (Joseph- Chs. 39-50)

Of course this list is by no means exclusive or exhaustive, but these are some of the insights I’ve been reminded of through Genesis this year so far. What is so amazing to me is how God’s word is like a never ending well, no matter how much you read & study, He continues to teach through each passage by highlighting different aspects each time I read. His word is alive and active just like Paul stated in Hebrews 4:12. The depth of insight & understanding will sustain me all the days of my life & I am just beginning!

What treasures will you uncover as you wade with God into the depths of His word?

Beauty & Blessings,

XO, Michelle

1.1.19

Photo Credit: Nathan Poland

As the sun rises on 2019, anticipation and excitement well within me to begin my 5th year of reading straight through the Bible.  This New Year’s tradition began for me as 2014 was coming to a close and I’d just finished watching all seasons of The Office with my boys, quite possibly for the second time.  I thought why not pick up the Bible and read it cover to cover as quickly as I could starting on January 1? I’ve done it with TV shows and other books, so why not the Bible? This is not a new year’s resolution, an obligation, a box to check off, a way to earn points with God or a reflection of my spirituality, but has grown into an exciting way for me to look forward to the start of each new year and see what God will teach me as I read through all of His written word.

I’m starting now at Genesis 1:1, with a curious mind as to what God will teach me through His word.  Who wants to join me in reading straight through the Bible, at the feet of our Teacher, just for the enjoyment of being with Him on a journey through His word?